Waves in a Uniform Cold Magnetoplasma — 2. Rays and Wave Packets

  • A. D. M. Walker
Part of the Physics and Chemistry in Space Planetology book series (SPACE, volume 24)


In this chapter we go on to consider more general disturbances than the infinite plane waves so far considered. This can be done because of the possibility of superposing a number of infinite plane waves to synthesize an arbitrary signal. This is the principle of superposition which applies to linear waves. The disturbances which we have considered have been assumed to be small enough for the equations to be linearized. The principle of superposition is simply an expression of the fact that an arbitrary small disturbance can be represented as a Fourier synthesis of such plane waves. Plane waves of different frequencies and directions having the appropriate amplitude and phase are added together to give the resultant wave.


Plane Wave Wave Packet Wave Front Phase Speed Velocity Surface 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. M. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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